Episode 22 The Beechgrove Garden


Episode 22

Celebrating Scottish gardens. Jim reviews the vegetables he has been growing in the potager and Carole demonstrates how to take semi-ripe cuttings for easy propogation.


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Transcript


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Oh, hello there, and welcome to Beechgrove.

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I'm back here in the vegetable garden,

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that's the indoor vegetable garden, of course,

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taking a last look at some of the crops here.

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Last time we were in, we were very concerned about the conditions,

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about humidity and so on, and discovered that the vents weren't working efficiently.

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And fortunately, they've now been sorted, so to speak.

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So, we haven't got rid of botrytis, it's still there,

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but we've stopped it from spreading and that's the important thing.

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We have changed the balance in the atmosphere. We're looking at these crops.

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This one's a new pepper to me. This one is called Ingrid,

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nice-sized pepper, it's a wee stunted plant, but it produced a few.

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This one could do a lot of damage. This is Jalapeno.

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Cropping rather nicely. Just ready for picking.

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And these are on their way to being a really dark purple. They're not going to turn green again.

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This one here is Canadian Wonder, it produces crops.

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It's a commercial variety. It's been on the market for many years.

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How do you get red ones? Well, you just leave green ones long enough and they turn red. Simple as that.

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Now, you remember the cucumbers had a very ropey start?

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They were on the point of being thrown out. Well, one of them, this one here, could go any minute.

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But look, with a bit of TLC, steady feeding, looking after them,

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look at the crop on that, this is Cucino as a variety. It's an F1.

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Ideal for salads. Chop them up, but keep picking them off.

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But we're getting close to the end of the season. They will be less productive from now on.

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And then we've got these chillies here. This is Super Chilli. Could do a bit of damage, this one.

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You need a big glass of water beside you when you're having these.

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And then our tomatoes. We're growing tomatoes in two different ways.

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We're growing them in the self-watering system, one I adapted at home. I find it very useful.

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And in the air pots on this side.

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Varieties are comparable, the yield per plant from each side very like one another,

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so let's go through the varieties and just have a word about them.

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This one here is our standard, normal variety. This is called Shirley.

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And you'll notice here, a bit of marking on the fruit. It's superficial.

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Peel the skins off and they're perfectly all right.

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And this is part of the problem of very strong sunlight.

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It's a little bit of sunburn, to be honest, a little bit of scald.

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And that's why we always tell people not to over de-leaf.

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Don't take the leaves off too quickly, especially earlier on.

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Now, we've got that, and we've also got a little bit of the botrytis showing on the fruit.

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I'll show you that later on. That's done well and there's quite a lot to go.

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This is OK. This is Golden Sunrise, cropping quite nicely.

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Erm, I'm very impressed with this. This is Apero.

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And, once again, whether you grow it that side or this side, it's cropping well.

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And it's still got some nice fruits to ripen. So I'd go with that one OK.

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And Gardener's Delight, everybody knows Gardener's Delight. It's a gorgeous variety, very tasty.

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Grows well. And a little bit to come yet.

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-HE LAUGHS

-This one, Ildi. I'm not so sure about Ildi.

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I mean, it's an attractive looking plant, but is it ever going to ripen all these fruits? I don't know.

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When you look further in there, see all the dead fruits, all these dead petals there,

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they're never going to push out anything. So I'm not all that keen on Ildi. Well, it's a bit of fun.

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Then we've got Cream Sausage. Now, Cream Sausage is intriguing, it is interesting.

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Erm, it doesn't have a particularly attractive flavour, in fact, I would say it's quite bland.

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A bit like the colour. Unless you give it a dose of salt, of course, then it's OK.

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And then we come to a new one which compares with Shirley. This one's called Vanessa.

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And I quite like it. I've got this one at home, as well. A quite nice flavour. Nice fruit.

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There you see on that fruit, see these little ghost-spots?

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Just little circles where the dampness has dried out, but it's left a botrytis spore behind.

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And it just stops at that. Once again, it is absolutely superficial.

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You can just peel them off.

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But with this one, what I'm saying at this time of the year,

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they're not going to ripen any more than is on the plant.

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-They're not going to develop. So what I would do is cut the tops off.

-HE LAUGHS

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-There's a cracker, how's that? Cut this thing, as well.

-HE LAUGHS

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-Whoops! Accidents happen, don't they?

-They do indeed.

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We're here to have another look at a load of crops that need that little bit of extra heat.

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Yes, we've a squashkin, something I've never grown before.

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It's a cross between a butternut squash and a pumpkin.

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Rather slow to set fruit, but meant to be a really nice flavour like a butternut squash.

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And then these gourds you've been growing. These have an amazing, the variety of shape.

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-They're weird and wonderful, I think.

-That's incredible.

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-These aren't edible. They're for decorative purposes. You fill a basket with them or something.

-Yes.

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-That one's Crown of Thorns, but this one I'm not so sure about. Rather warty-looking.

-Yes.

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-Looks like a frog's back.

-Quite grotesque.

-That's Autumn Glory.

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And then we've got these lovely Speckled Swans. I think they're quite amazing, aren't they?

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They are, indeed. Looks a bit like a golf club, doesn't it? How can you tell when they're ripe?

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Well, what you need to do is knock it like that. That sounds quite solid.

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And when it's ripe, when you knock it, it sounds hollow.

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So what we need to do is reduce the watering, stop the feeding and that will help to ripen them off.

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And there's one other variety there called Russian Doll.

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Now, I think that will be nice, once that's dried, you can actually paint them with acrylic paint.

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You can see just where it gets its name from.

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Yes. Different sizes, which is brilliant.

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And then another edible crop, we've got aubergines here.

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-This is what we tend to think of as the normal variety.

-Yes. With the black fruit.

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It's a really lovely plant with felty leaves and the purple flowers.

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-Then we have this, which is Pinstripe. Rather unusual.

-Isn't it?

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So it's a real success story.

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But meanwhile, on the rest of the programme...

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Begonia Tie-Dye, introduced to cultivation,

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with many other plants, by the man we're about to meet.

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And I can't believe a garden that looks as good as this

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has a problem corner, but it does.

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This business of pruning fruit, apples and soft fruit and top fruit,

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it's like learning the ten-times table, the more often you do it, the more you get used to it.

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Here am I, would you believe, summer pruning apple trees

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that were planted in the original old Beechgrove in 1979 against the wall.

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We brought them here in '95, chucked them in for a year until this bed was planted,

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and their still cropping. Why? Because they're still being regularly pruned.

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What I'm doing at the present moment on this cordon, which is the variety Fortune,

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it used to be called Laxton's Fortune, that doesn't mean a lot to people nowadays,

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is doing the summer pruning, and I'm taking all extraneous growth off that's not necessary.

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Why? Just have a look at this.

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Where are these apples coming from? They're not coming from new growth.

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They're coming from these knobbly bits, which in the textbooks we call spurs.

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The flowers first, and then the fruit, turn up on these spurs.

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Two-year-old and three-year-old wood.

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And what we're doing by taking off this extraneous stuff,

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when you think about taking it off over the whole plant, is we're removing all that extra growth

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and we're allowing the late sun and the light to get in to ripen the wood.

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Because I've just pruned that now, come the winter time, when the leaves are off,

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I will then prune it back to that bud there, just there,

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and during the next growing season,

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it will produce fruit buds on that little spur.

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And from then, we get our fruit. So there's a sequence.

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There's always one, two, three, four-year-old wood on the plant.

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Now, because these are so old, these spurs tend to get quite big and complicated.

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Here's one, for example, which is now not producing too much.

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You can actually take them right back to there.

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And you'll get a shoot from an adventitious bud there that looks just like these big, long ones.

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Just looks like this. Prune it back and you've started the cycle all over again.

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This week I'm in Brodie in Morayshire,

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where Marlene and David Gallen have created a beautiful garden in an amazingly short space of time.

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This is our second summer here, Carol.

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We moved into not a lot here, quite a lot of work to do.

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This border in particular was just full of, erm, trees and shrubs

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and horrible things we had to cut out and dig out.

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And we've extended it and put in plants and...

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You've done a power of work. And there's quite a range of plants you've got.

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Erm, yes. But it's finding the right thing that grows in the right condition, obviously.

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Like this bit over here tends to be on the dry side or something,

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because the plants aren't doing very well at all. They're not growing very well.

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I'm a bit concerned that you've planted these in amongst the grass

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-because a lot of people don't realise, it's a huge competitor...

-Oh, OK.

-..for moisture, nutrients.

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-As much as maybe 60 or 70 percent.

-Really? OK.

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-So what I would suggest is you take away the grass, and I think that would be easier maintenance.

-OK.

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Right. It's a problem, because I wanted to extend it all the way down here into the problem area

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that I want to be dealt with. It's filled with tree roots. It's dry, it's shaded, it's sunny.

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-So this is really quite a problem, isn't it?

-I think so, yes.

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Is there any way we could utilise this lovely seat I got in a sale?

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I don't see why not. I think the first thing to do is establish where you'd like to put it.

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-I think you want to go back that way, Mike.

-Yeah.

-And maybe if you just go round...

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I'm good at directing, rather than doing the work. I think you need to square that up a bit more.

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-Like that. Do you want to try that out?

-Yes.

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Yeah, that's not bad, cos it's got to... OK, it's full sun just now.

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But it'll be, we get shade later in the afternoon, and that's where I really want it to be. You know?

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-In a shady spot.

-When you can relax?

-Where you relax with a glass of wine.

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-OK. So we've a rough idea that it's going to be there.

-Yes. That would be superb.

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And now what we've got to do is work around the tree.

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And I did ask you to do a little bit of work already with this, didn't I?

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Yes. We, erm... Obviously it was a whole tree

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and took up quite a little bit with the shade over this way, so...

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And it's got Dutch elm disease, so we cut it.

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Yes, it wasn't a great tree in the first place. But I think it's a beautiful trunk.

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-So we're going to use that as a feature.

-Yeah.

-So, I think, now we've established the seat,

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-we need to actually cut away a lot of these branches here.

-OK.

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And we need to make a shape for the border. And then we've got to lift up the turf.

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There's quite a difference now we've tidied up the trunk, isn't there?

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There's a huge difference. It's just unbelievable! It's unrecognisable, Carol.

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I think it's going to be a lovely feature. But I am concerned it will sprout again.

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-So apart from girdling the neck of the stem...

-Uh-huh?

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-..if the leaves sprout, you could get some brushwood killer.

-Yeah.

-A weedkiller you paint on.

-Yeah.

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-Now, the soil that we've exposed...

-I know!

-It's not too bad, is it?

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No, it's not. It's still looks dry and sandy to me.

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So does that mean it's going to be lovely, free-draining soil for certain types of plants?

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-It's going to be very free-draining because it's quite sandy.

-Mm-hm.

-Now that is a problem.

-Yeah.

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Because not only is it, kind of, the shade here and the competition for moisture...

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-So what we need to do is prepare planting pockets.

-Uh-huh.

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-I'm not going to dig it right the way over.

-OK.

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Then we'll put in lots of organic matter to help retain the moisture.

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-Yup.

-Marlene, you've just put it back in the position it was in.

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No, it's not. It was right round there, Davey. You had it completely squint.

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-You didn't have it... It wasn't like that.

-I'm not getting involved.

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Now, you might wonder what's going on here.

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A big planty hole is being prepared for the main shrubs in the border.

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I've got four shrubs and this particular one is for a witch hazel.

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Now, already you can see the roots that we've had to go through.

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Really large roots from the beech. And there's going to be lots of competition for moisture.

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So, basically, what I want to do is create its own individual planting pocket.

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And I'm putting in this barrier.

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And the idea is then that any more roots that grow will go around that

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rather than being in that planting pocket.

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That way, hopefully, that witch hazel will be able to put on lots and lots of growth.

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Marlene, it was quite difficult to plant, wasn't it?

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It was a bit of hard work, but it's been worth it.

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Apart from adding the organic matter, I've put in a bit of bone meal.

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We mixed it in the fertiliser. That will help with the roots.

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And then gave it a really good soaking, cos that's important.

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-You also had one or two requests for plants.

-I did.

-Evergreen was quite important, wasn't it?

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Yes. From kitchen window to here, it's quite important to have a little bit of foliage and brightness.

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Right through the winter time. So, things like the euonymus we've got,

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-the viburnum behind us here.

-That's lovely.

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-Lots of ground cover, as well.

-Uh-huh.

-So, for example, the periwinkle or the vinca

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-which has white flowers.

-It's lovely.

-That's the variety called Gertrude Jekyll.

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-And I think white's quite nice when it's shady.

-Oh, OK.

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-Ajugas are happy in the dry shade.

-Uh-huh.

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-Ferns, I think, round here, cos you rather like ferns.

-Yup. They're lovely. I'm very fond of ferns.

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And they're quite subtle, those colours.

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Obviously, I'll have to water them for the next year, and continue to water them.

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Well, yes. You're saying, "for the next year", that is important, because it's such a difficult area.

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-And it's watering quite a bit when you water.

-Mm-hm.

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-But not every day. You know, once a week or something, or once a month when it's really...

-OK.

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-All fairly hardy, as well?

-I hope so.

-Excellent!

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-I can see what you mean about wanting to sit here and rest in the shade.

-It's lovely, isn't it?

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Now is the perfect time to take semi-ripe cuttings.

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You can do this from late summer right into the autumn.

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Here in the silver garden, we've planted up this border with different lavenders.

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Two of them are French lavenders and I'm a bit concerned about their hardiness.

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I think they'll be killed over the winter. But they are ideal candidates for taking semi-ripe cuttings from.

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What I mean by that is, the sort of material down here,

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it's thickness growth and it's quite firm at the base

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but still a little bit floppy at the top.

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I'm going to take two or three of these.

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I'm going to take from this one, which is Papillon. I'm also going to take from Devonshire Compact.

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The two lavenders look very similar foliage-wise, so I've actually labelled up both the plastic bags.

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These are quite crucial, cos we want to make sure that the cuttings don't lose much moisture.

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Carol, the potager is looking absolutely gorgeous at the moment!

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I'm really pleased with the results and I was looking at it last week

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but the verbena bonariensis, I never mentioned that.

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It's a beautiful plant. Diffused flowers.

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-Purple.

-Yeah, purple. But it's a half-hardy perennial, isn't it?

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So I want to do exactly the same as you with the lavenders.

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Want to bring these through, get them rooted.

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The bonariensis itself is quite is quite core-growing.

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About three foot, maybe even four foot in height.

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Here's a new one called Lollipop which I think is fantastic if you've just got a small border.

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So I want do to exactly the same and here's one that's perfect for taking as a cutting.

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And we want to make sure there's no sign of any pests or diseases.

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-We need to get these into the potting shed now.

-Speed is of the essence.

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Definitely.

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We've got everything set up here in the potting shed, starting off with the compost.

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This is a mix. This is compost and then we've got it mixed with 50 percent sand.

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-Sharp sand, isn't it?

-It is. But you could use vermiculite or you could use pearlite.

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-And that just keeps it nice and light.

-It does.

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So you've been around the garden taking other things?

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I have, because there are a lot of shrubs, particularly evergreen shrubs, which propagate well

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from semi-ripe cuttings. I've got some bits of pieris which will work well,

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I have hebes, heather which will respond well to that treatment.

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-And I got some dianthus, as well.

-Oh, they're really nice.

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Now, I also collected one or two other things keeping with the theme of the half-hardy perennial.

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This is a marguerite, and I think what's quite interesting

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is very often we say try to go for a non-flowering shoot,

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but it's not always possible,

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so in this particular case, I'd just nip that out at the top.

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And also, sometimes you can go for what you call a heel cutting,

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that's just a side shoot with the heel and that helps its rooting.

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Take off about a third to two thirds of the leaves for the preparation,

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just go round like this. It's exactly the same for all cuttings, isn't it?

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-I'm starting on my lavender here.

-We've both got a piece of glass.

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I think it's quite interesting because both Jim and George use their knife

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-and cut it towards their thumb. I hate doing that!

-That worries me.

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So I'd rather just tidy up the end of this heel.

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And then, I'm just using a bit of a bamboo cane,

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but a pencil or something. Before you do that, dip it into the hormone rooting powder.

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Just tap that off lightly. And most plant material is quite happy with the rooting hormone powder

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-but pelargoniums don't like it, it encourages black leg.

-Yeah.

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And then you just put it around the edge of the pot.

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I think that's cos it's warmer round the edge. They certainly do take better from there.

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And then these, I would just pop these into our propagating greenhouse.

0:18:520:18:57

Use a propagation lid, because you don't want it to lose a lot of moisture.

0:18:570:19:03

Some of your shrubby material, just into a cold frame?

0:19:030:19:06

They'll be OK. It's a really good way of propagating those.

0:19:060:19:10

But some of them will need just a little bit more protection.

0:19:100:19:13

But I'm hoping these are going to root before the frosts come

0:19:130:19:17

and then we don't have to keep the main stock plants.

0:19:170:19:19

Here we are in the Cally Gardens on the outskirts of Gatehouse of Fleet,

0:19:250:19:29

which lies somewhere between Dumfries and Stranraer.

0:19:290:19:33

We're meeting Michael Wickenden, proprietor of the nursery,

0:19:330:19:36

but more importantly, perhaps, a plant-hunter of note

0:19:360:19:40

who's already done 15 treks.

0:19:400:19:43

You are renowned as a plant-hunter and nursery-man. What motivated you to go plant-hunting?

0:19:470:19:52

Well, to see the plants growing in nature,

0:19:520:19:56

to learn how to grow them from where they grow naturally

0:19:560:20:00

and just to travel to remote parts of the world

0:20:000:20:04

for the excitement and to take photographs and to collect seeds.

0:20:040:20:09

-Did you have favourite places to go?

-The most obvious destination for a plant-hunter is the Himalayas.

0:20:090:20:14

That's where most of the new plants are going to come from, I think.

0:20:140:20:18

I ignored the Himalayas for many years because I wanted to go to remote, unvisited,

0:20:180:20:24

unexplored parts of the world

0:20:240:20:27

and that took me to places like West Papua in New Guinea

0:20:270:20:30

and to the Uganda-Congo border

0:20:300:20:33

where there are some mountains called the Rwenzori Mountains, known as the Mountains of the Moon.

0:20:330:20:38

-Ah!

-You maybe recognise that.

-I recognise that name.

0:20:380:20:41

-How high?

-They're up to 16,000 feet.

0:20:410:20:44

-Right on the equator.

-The equator goes right through the middle of them.

0:20:440:20:48

You've been going there for quite some years now.

0:20:480:20:51

-Over the last 20.

-Have you noticed climate change?

0:20:510:20:54

Yes. The first western mountaineers who went there about 100 years ago

0:20:540:20:59

found many glaciers

0:20:590:21:02

and now almost all of those have disappeared.

0:21:020:21:05

And the last one is going fast.

0:21:050:21:08

-So there's big areas of exposed rock ready to be colonised by plants.

-Well, yes.

0:21:080:21:13

You must be growing plants in the garden which remind you of the places you've been.

0:21:130:21:17

Yes, every plant that you collect and grow

0:21:170:21:20

is a memory of where you collected it, when, maybe the people who helped you collect them,

0:21:200:21:27

because many of these expeditions, I'm assisted by guides and porters

0:21:270:21:33

from the local, often tribal people.

0:21:330:21:35

-And it's fascinating to see their way of life.

-It's about time, place and people.

0:21:350:21:41

Yeah. It's not just simply plants, you're right.

0:21:410:21:44

Let's just stop by this agapanthus, Michael.

0:21:550:21:58

People have difficulty knowing how to grow them. A few words of wisdom from you.

0:21:580:22:02

Well, the clue is in the size of the flower head.

0:22:020:22:05

This is a wild-collected agapanthus from Lesotho that I brought back as seed.

0:22:050:22:09

Really small flower heads. Lovely blue.

0:22:090:22:12

The small flower heads and the low foliage indicate it comes from high in the mountains

0:22:120:22:17

where it's adjusted to bad weather.

0:22:170:22:19

The agapanthus that has very large, round flower heads, six or nine inches across,

0:22:190:22:24

very broad leaves, they're from sea level in South Africa, so they're not going to be as hardy

0:22:240:22:29

and those are the ones that you need to plant in a very sheltered place,

0:22:290:22:33

cover with leaves in the winter or grow in a big pot that you put into a frost-free greenhouse.

0:22:330:22:38

Before moving on, are you going to tell me about that yucca there? It's stunning.

0:22:380:22:43

Well, that yucca is hardy as long as you get it in very well-drained soil

0:22:430:22:47

and full sun, it's a desert plant from Mexico.

0:22:470:22:50

And this particular one that we got from a German nursery

0:22:500:22:53

does flower regularly. You've got to get a good variety

0:22:530:22:57

and that will produce these lovely white flowers.

0:22:570:23:00

Michael, my excuse for coming to the garden here at Cally and to meet you

0:23:090:23:13

was based on a little trial at Beechgrove on crocosmias.

0:23:130:23:18

So we start here with Lucifer, which just about everybody knows.

0:23:180:23:23

It's easy to grow, it's a great, bright colour and it's easily available.

0:23:230:23:28

It's almost open now. We've got flowers there, buds at the end, just three to come.

0:23:280:23:34

In another part of the garden, we have late Lucifer, that isn't so well-known.

0:23:340:23:38

It's a darker colour and it's in full flower right now.

0:23:380:23:41

Right. That's one of the important things. It comes late in the season

0:23:410:23:45

when other things are perhaps going over. The other important thing is the shape of this wonderful foliage,

0:23:450:23:50

which is a contrast to the other foliage. Some people would say,

0:23:500:23:54

"Crocosmias are not for me if they're all four-foot-six high." There are some quite low ones.

0:23:540:24:00

-Yes, half this height. Many of them are that size.

-Let's go and find them.

-OK.

0:24:000:24:04

-Late flowering Lucifer.

-That's the one. You can see that it's just got a few flowers finished there.

0:24:080:24:15

Lots of flowers out, buds to come, and a rather nice dark, dusky red,

0:24:150:24:21

-not quite so strident and bright as Lucifer itself.

-Another cracker.

0:24:210:24:24

-There are so many things to talk about in this garden.

-Thank you!

0:24:350:24:39

But we must concentrate on the crocosmias.

0:24:390:24:42

-What's this one?

-This is Lana de Savary.

-It's in flower at Beechgrove.

-Is it really?

-Just started.

0:24:420:24:48

-Lovely, clear colour, very easy to grow, very brightly coloured.

-What's the one just across there?

0:24:480:24:54

-That's called Jupiter.

-I like it.

-It's an old variety.

0:24:540:24:57

A soft orange and horizontal flower spikes

0:24:570:25:01

and very quick to increase.

0:25:010:25:03

It's quite a nice one. You'd have to keep an eye on it, but it's the right height and size.

0:25:030:25:08

-And the yellow one?

-That's called Jenny Bloom

0:25:080:25:10

-and that's a lovely pendant flower spike and a gorgeous colour. Showing the range of colours.

-Yes.

0:25:100:25:16

It shows that range, which I'm anxious to concentrate on because you have another lot in pots here.

0:25:160:25:23

There are 250 varieties of crocosmia in the plant finder, so we've only got a few here.

0:25:230:25:28

-Down there, there's Jackanapes.

-That is also in flower at the moment at Beechgrove.

0:25:280:25:34

Not much more than 18 inches with yellow and red petals alternate.

0:25:340:25:38

Next one with the very large flowers is Star of the East.

0:25:380:25:41

-That flowers up to three to four inches across.

-Oh, really?

-Biggest flowered one I have.

0:25:410:25:47

Finally, there's Carmin Brilliant, which is a soft tomato red.

0:25:470:25:52

A nicer, softer colour, easier to fit in with other things.

0:25:520:25:56

But apart from that last flower, they're not precious. They will grow in most gardens.

0:25:560:26:00

Oh, they will. I mean, as long as you've got full sun and soil that is not waterlogged or bone dry,

0:26:000:26:07

-you're all right with these.

-Thank you, Michael, it's been great.

-You're very welcome.

0:26:070:26:11

I just can't get these crocosmias out of my head.

0:26:180:26:21

And I loved that trip down to see Michael at the Cally Gardens.

0:26:210:26:24

These pictures were taken six days ago, so that gives you an idea of season,

0:26:240:26:28

where they are and where we are in terms of flowering.

0:26:280:26:31

And we were looking at this flower. This is Jupiter, a stunner, and it meets all my requirements.

0:26:310:26:36

It's not too tall, a stunning flower. Great trusses of flower. Really lovely.

0:26:360:26:40

You saw that in its full glory. We didn't see this one down there, though.

0:26:400:26:44

We didn't find it or it wasn't in flower. This is Carmin Brilliant and I think that's a cracker.

0:26:440:26:49

I really like this combination of the yellow and red hues. Stunner.

0:26:490:26:54

You'll recognise this. You saw it just a few minutes ago. This is Lana de Savary.

0:26:540:26:59

Really striking. Big, big trusses. Bit of a looser truss, wider,

0:26:590:27:04

but it's a nice plant.

0:27:040:27:07

This is my favourite so far. Solfatare. I've got this one at home.

0:27:070:27:10

Absolutely stunning and it shows you where we're getting this colour range going into the yellows.

0:27:100:27:16

The yellow tends to leak down into the foliage, which is a bronzey effect.

0:27:160:27:20

But these chappies are not too well. There's a bit of die-back there.

0:27:200:27:24

Whether that's disease or just drought, because we're on a raised bed here,

0:27:240:27:29

they're actually trying to get as much moisture as they can in the summer

0:27:290:27:32

and they're competing with that established hedge.

0:27:320:27:36

So we'll see how they go come another season, but that's Solfatare. Really lovely thing.

0:27:360:27:40

I'm stopping at this one for two reasons.

0:27:400:27:43

This is Star of the East. This is the one that Michael described as having the biggest flowers.

0:27:430:27:47

The flowers were yellow. We saw just one flower.

0:27:470:27:51

But look at the colour of the bud. Orange.

0:27:510:27:53

But there's another thing to remark on here. You see that flattened stem, rather twisted?

0:27:530:27:58

That looks like fasciation, which is a damage that happens to some plants.

0:27:580:28:02

You get it on delphiniums and lupins.

0:28:020:28:04

And here's little Jackanapes. Isn't that lovely? Dinky thing.

0:28:040:28:07

Sit at the front of the border in a nice clump. He's not a happy chappy, though.

0:28:070:28:11

There's a wee bit of damage there again. Not sure if that's disease or the growing conditions this year.

0:28:110:28:17

This guy might be the star of the show, eventually.

0:28:170:28:20

This is Saracen. Just look at the colour of these stems.

0:28:200:28:24

The colour of the foliage and the promise in that.

0:28:240:28:27

Ooh! I'm almost getting poetic!

0:28:270:28:30

I love using fresh herbs in cooking. It just adds a real gardeny flavour to things.

0:28:300:28:35

And I've got a selection of the ones that I use most.

0:28:350:28:38

Quite a few of these are evergreens. So I have bay, and when you're using that,

0:28:380:28:43

you need to just break is slightly before you add it to the dish and it gives all the oils out.

0:28:430:28:48

If you're picking herbs, the best time to pick them is either first thing in the morning,

0:28:480:28:53

particularly if it's a sunny day because they give off all their oils,

0:28:530:28:56

or a cloudy day is a good day to be harvesting, as well.

0:28:560:28:59

Another useful one is sage. This is purple sage.

0:28:590:29:03

And rosemary. That's just gorgeous with lamb and with chicken.

0:29:030:29:07

And thyme. These are all evergreens,

0:29:070:29:10

so theoretically, you should be able to pick them all year round.

0:29:100:29:13

But obviously, if we get a load of snow and you can't find them beneath the snow,

0:29:130:29:17

you need to make sure you've got a winter store of them.

0:29:170:29:20

These will all dry very, very effectively.

0:29:200:29:23

The only thing is you need to watch with sage, it goes a little bit musty.

0:29:230:29:27

Another of my favourite herbs is mint. It's really nice with peas and new potatoes,

0:29:270:29:32

but this completely disappears in the winter.

0:29:320:29:34

But what you can do is freeze it. It freezes incredibly well.

0:29:340:29:38

And all you need do is put it into a freezer bag.

0:29:380:29:41

Before you do that, make sure you label exactly what the herb is,

0:29:410:29:45

because once this gets into the freezer,

0:29:450:29:48

then you can't recognise exactly what you've got there.

0:29:480:29:51

You don't need to defrost this before you use it, you can just take out the mint...

0:29:510:29:55

I can't get the bag open. ..and pop it into the potatoes or peas.

0:29:550:29:59

Now, once they have frozen, they are quite brittle,

0:29:590:30:02

so rather than just dropping this into the freezer,

0:30:020:30:05

it's quite a good idea, if you have a big box, put them all in there

0:30:050:30:08

and that gives them a little bit of protection.

0:30:080:30:11

You can do the same with parsley. Before you use this, it is very brittle,

0:30:110:30:15

just crush it with your hands and then sprinkle it over whatever you're using.

0:30:150:30:19

I've also got chives. Again, they will freeze beautifully.

0:30:190:30:23

Basil is an interesting one. I just love it. It's got such an Italian flavour to it.

0:30:230:30:29

But the leaves need to just be coated with olive oil or rapeseed oil before you freeze them

0:30:290:30:35

and then this stops them sticking together in the bags.

0:30:350:30:40

There are other ways of preserving herbs, as well.

0:30:400:30:42

You can use them in oils or you can do it in vinegars.

0:30:420:30:45

I'm going to show you a real quick way of making a herb vinegar.

0:30:450:30:49

You can buy all sorts of bottles, but if you just use a white wine vinegar bottle

0:30:490:30:53

that you've bought, and just to make room for the things,

0:30:530:30:56

pour off a little bit of the vinegar.

0:30:560:31:00

I'm going to put four garlic cloves in that I've peeled.

0:31:000:31:04

And then two sprigs of whatever herb you decide to do.

0:31:060:31:09

I'm going to do French tarragon and make tarragon vinegar

0:31:090:31:13

because it's very useful with chicken dishes.

0:31:130:31:15

As always, you're making sure that the herbs are nice and clean and healthy

0:31:150:31:19

and no diseases on, and you push these in like this

0:31:190:31:23

and then top up again with the vinegar

0:31:230:31:25

so you don't have any air space.

0:31:250:31:28

And then put this on a windowsill, a sunny windowsill if you can find one,

0:31:280:31:33

and leave it for two weeks.

0:31:330:31:35

When we've done that, take the top off again,

0:31:350:31:37

take out those two sprigs of French tarragon and replace it with two fresh ones

0:31:370:31:42

and then the vinegar is ready to use.

0:31:420:31:44

If you'd like any more tips on harvesting herbs,

0:31:440:31:47

it's all going to be in the fact sheet.

0:31:470:31:49

A bit like the vegetable garden, the cutting garden has had some failures but some successes.

0:31:530:31:59

-That's lovely.

-Isn't it? These are all the hardy annuals,

0:31:590:32:02

so we just directly sew these into the beds. This is amberboa.

0:32:020:32:05

-I grew that for the first time last year. Lovely straight stems. Very pretty.

-Shame about the name.

0:32:050:32:10

Then the cornflower is lovely with the blue. These are the half-hardies,

0:32:100:32:14

so these were started off in the greenhouse. The absolute success is this.

0:32:140:32:19

-This cerinthe is stunning!

-Has to be a favourite of mine.

0:32:190:32:22

There's the flowers, but it's the backs that make it so colourful.

0:32:220:32:26

-Looks kind of metallic.

-It does! Metallic blue.

0:32:260:32:29

It goes really well with some of these darker cosmoses.

0:32:290:32:32

Sweet peas have done reasonably well, just growing them in a pot

0:32:320:32:35

-so not taking up too much space.

-Just let them scramble, not like the cordons, Jim.

0:32:350:32:40

They are very much under control. But this has been one of the success stories,

0:32:400:32:44

the breeding of these new hybrid achilleas.

0:32:440:32:47

Lovely, isn't it? Really pretty.

0:32:470:32:50

This is Lilac Beauty and it teams up so well with the eryngium.

0:32:500:32:54

Same with the Terracotta, as well, with the eryngium.

0:32:540:32:57

-And that really changes colour, doesn't it? It ends up pretty yellow.

-Yes.

0:32:570:33:02

It starts off really dark and then goes pale.

0:33:020:33:04

Actually, these will all dry really well.

0:33:040:33:07

Once they're nice and rigid, just pop it in a vase and it dries beautifully.

0:33:070:33:11

And all of them don't need staking.

0:33:110:33:13

-That's pretty, too. Blue Glitter.

-That's really nice.

0:33:130:33:17

-You're going to talk about that?

-I am, because there's also variifolium there

0:33:170:33:21

that's got the variegation...

0:33:210:33:23

-A very expensive one here.

-THEY LAUGH

0:33:230:33:27

-Yes, OK.

-What's the story?

-Shall we explain what's going on?

0:33:270:33:30

Actually, I can't explain it. We've got no potatoes from Charlotte.

0:33:300:33:34

-This is in your new stacking system and just one little potato?

-Did you sabotage it?

-I didn't.

0:33:340:33:38

That was just in the tub. Slightly better, though, the Cherie,

0:33:380:33:42

-which is a new French collection.

-Pretty colour.

0:33:420:33:45

-I've tasted those. They are really superb.

-French fries, of course.

0:33:450:33:49

And these were just grown in tubs. That's the other two in the French collection, Altesse and Amandine.

0:33:490:33:54

When you grow them in containers, they're so clean, just a quick rinse, boil them and they're beautiful.

0:33:540:34:00

We should try the stacking system again with a main crop.

0:34:000:34:03

-At 50 pence a tatty? I'm not so sure.

-We'll wait and see.

0:34:030:34:07

If you'd like any more information about this week's programme,

0:34:070:34:11

perhaps Leslie talking about the herbs, Jim by the cordons,

0:34:110:34:15

all that information is in the fact sheet.

0:34:150:34:17

The easiest way to access that is online.

0:34:170:34:19

Next week, I can hardly believe it's that time again,

0:34:190:34:22

but I'm going to be looking at spring-flowering bulbs, some white bulbs in the white garden.

0:34:220:34:27

It doesn't matter what the weather does, I'm cavorting on the lawn.

0:34:270:34:31

-THEY LAUGH

-Until then...

-ALL: Goodbye.

0:34:310:34:34

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:34:360:34:40

E-mail [email protected]

0:34:400:34:44

In the Beechgrove Garden, Jim is taking a look at some of his weird but hopefully wonderful veg that he has been growing in the potager as well as finishing off the summer pruning in the Family Orchard.

Carole meanwhile always says that she likes a bit of propagation in the garden, and what she enjoys even more is if it's simple and money saving. This week Carole shows us how to take semi-ripe cuttings and these are an easy way to propagate a wide range of hardy climbers, herbs, ground-cover plants, shrubs and trees without the need of special equipment or skills. Perfect!

Carole is also with Marlene and Davie Gallon in Brodie. Both amateur gardeners who enjoy all aspects of gardening, they have an area of trees which is very bare and exposed, with dry soil and impossible to dig because of tree roots. Carole concentrates a new border around one tree stump which she dresses with ivy and creates a mini fernery for Marlene and Davie.

Jim visits Michael Wickenden who runs a specialist nursery in Gatehouse of Fleet. Cally Gardens is within an 18th century walled garden with an old vinery and bothy, all surrounded by the Cally Oak Woods. Michael has over 3,500 plants and a range of rare herbaceous perennials and is a modern day plant Hunter. His travels have taken him to extremely remote areas of the world to study, photograph and introduce new plants into cultivation. All of Jim's crocosmia trial plants at Beechgrove came from Michael so Jim will be at the garden to look at the full range of crocosmias but also feature other choice plants giving late summer colour like agapanthus and kniphofias.


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